The Dangers of A Single Story Discussion Post and Reply

After watching the TED talk by Adichie and reading/annotating through the transcript, please participate in this discussion.

Your post: Choose any 3 questions listed below to answer. Please write about 100 words per question. You don’t have to copy the question, but please number your answers and write your responses so it’s clear what questions you are answering. You will only be able to see your classmates’ responses after you have posted.

Your reply: Once you post, please reply to the person who posted right before you (or someone who does not have a reply). If you are the first person to post, you are excused from this part of the assignment.

In your reply, please comment on whether or not your understanding of the question/answer is similar to theirs. Did you have a different thought or comment in response to those questions? To what extent do you agree or disagree with what your classmate wrote? What additional ideas can you add now that you have read their posts? You don’t have to write separate replies to each question they answered, just one reply is fine, and it can comment on any and all parts of their post. Write at least 100 words.

Questions to answer: choose 3:

  1. Why did Adichie write her first stories about white people? What does she suggest is the negative side of reading mainly about people who are different from you? What does she say is the positive side? What made Adichie change her ideas about what “literature” had to be?
  2. What did Adichie’s experiences in college with her roommate and her professor teach her about their ideas of Africa? According to Adichie, where do their ideas come from?
  3. What does Adichie mean when she states, “The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.”? Why does it do this? How does it do this?
  4. How does Adichie connect the idea of power or ‘nkali’ to story-telling? How does this relate to our own lives today and what we see in the media, in history books, in classroom lessons, etc?
  5. Towards the end of her talk, Adichie starts many sentences with “what if my roommate knew…”: what types of things does she mention there? Why? What point is she trying to make?
  6. Why does Adichie say: “Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.” What specifically does she emphasize “many”? In what way can stories “break the dignity of a people. But also repair that broken dignity”? What does she mean by this
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